On Friday at 4:53pm, Washington State’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit against Washington State Democrat Speaker of the House Frank Chopp in Thurston County Superior Court for a variety of campaign finance violations committed by Speaker Chopp’s campaign during his 2016 re-election campaign (see original Superior Court complaint linked here).  The complaints identified in the lawsuit included the following specific violations of Washington State’s campaign finance laws by Chopp:

Frank Chopp wasn’t smiling when the Attorney General filed a lawsuit against him for various campaign finance violations

 

In addition to these complaints, Speaker Chopp was forced to return $1, 287.13 to his campaign as refunds of improper (illegal) reimbursements he had received from his campaign.  

Although his opponent in 2014 was considered a long shot, Chopp ran uncontested in 2016 and still managed to violate all these campaign finance laws

These violations were brought to the attention of the Public Disclosure Commission and the Attorney General’s office in a complaint filed by this author on December 28, 2016 (linked here).  Additional violations of Washington State’s campaign finance laws were identified in the original complaint, but Speaker Chopp’s response to the Public Disclosure Commission (linked here) was apparently adequate in explaining or justifying the additional questionable campaign finance actions.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson campaigned on a promise to more rigorously enforce Washington State’s campaign finance laws.  When not litigating against Donald Trump, he appears to be fulfilling this campaign promise.  This recent court action is one of many he has filed.  Here is a recent list of others:

Bob Ferguson is serious about campaign finance laws

Although the recent lawsuit filed against Frank Chopp and Jay Manning were not publicized in the same manner as Kim Wyman’s lawsuit, at least it appears that Bob Ferguson is finding politicians closer to home than just Donald Trump to target for litigation.  It should also be expected that Speaker Chopp and his treasurer are going to be a little more careful with their campaign finance paperwork in 2018.

More in common than you might think – Trump and Chopp have both been sued by Bob Ferguson

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OUR CONSTITUTION BEGINS WITH THE PHRASE “WE THE PEOPLE.”  IT WAS THE FOUNDER’S INTENT THAT GOVERNMENT BE CREATED BY THE PEOPLE, TO SERVE THE PEOPLE.  IT WASN’T THEIR INTENTION FOR THE PEOPLE TO SERVE THE GOVERNMENT.  IT WAS ALWAYS INTENDED THAT GOVERNMENT WHICH FAILED TO SERVE THE PEOPLE SHOULD BE “ALTERED OR ABOLISHED.”  UNTIL WE RETURN TO THE FOUNDER’S INTENT, WE REMAIN WE THE GOVERNED

Lawsuit and other pending complaints:

February 24, 2017 – Attorney General lawsuit against Frank Chopp (Thurston Superior Court – #17-2-00847-34)

December 28, 2016 – Original PDC complaint (PDC Case #11338) filed against Frank Chopp 

Speaker Chopp response to Morgan Complaint (PDC Case 11388)

February 3, 2017 – Attorney General lawsuit against Jay Manning (Thurston superior Court)

February 9, 2017 – Jay Manning Stipulation and Agreed Judgement (Thurston superior Court)

Complaint #12633 – Jay Manning – F1 and Illegal Lobbying complaint

Jay Manning skates away from transparency thanks public disclosure commission

Can political insiders violate campaign finance laws with no consequences?

AG press release about Jay Manning settlement

December 19, 2016 -AG lawsuit against Theresa Purcell (Thurston Superior Court #16-2-04959-34)

Background articles on Attorney General lawsuits:

Can political insiders violate campaign finance laws with no consequences?

AG Files Campaign Finance Complaint Against 19th District House Candidate

AG Files Campaign Finance Complaints Against Budget and Policy Center, Thurston County Candidate Jim Cooper

AGO Files Campaign Finance Complaint Against Secretary of State Kim Wyman

AGO Settles Kim Wyman Campaign Finance Complaint with $10,115 settlement

This Washington State official overseas elections, and now she’s paying campaign fines

AG:  Eyman and Committees Violated Campaign Accounting and Disclosure Laws

Washington State Attorney General’s press release about lawsuit filed against Jim Cooper

Direct link to the original complaint filed by AG against Jim Cooper

Copy of Complaint for Civil Penalties and for Injunctive Relief (State of Washington v. Jim Cooper) No #16-2-04960-34

Public Disclosure Commission – Case #8928 – report on investigation – December 16, 2016

Original complaint filed against Jim Cooper – PDC Case #8928 – filed October 17, 2016

PDC warning letter to Jim Cooper – Case #8928 – December 16, 2016

 

 

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